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Sid Hartman was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1920, started delivering Minneapolis newspapers when he was nine, and began a sports reporting internship for the Minneapolis Times in 1944. From there, he became a mainstay sports columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a radio sportscaster and commentator for WCCO Radio, and was the general manager of the Minneapolis Lakers, whom he helped build into the NBA's first dynasty.
Hartman, who was still contributing to the Star Tribune this week, died on Sunday at the age of 100. The news was announced by his son Chad Hartman, who now hosts a radio show on WCCO.
Per the Star Tribune, Hartman "produced 21,235 bylined stories in his career, from 1944 until the one that ran on C2 of Sunday's Sports section. That column was his 119th of 2020."
Along with his reporting, Hartman also penned two books. Sid!: The Sports Legends, the Inside Scoops, and the Close Personal Friends, and Sid Hartman's Great Minnesota Sports Moments.
So adored and revered in the Minneapolis sports scene that various franchises and stadiums have honored him. You'll find a statue of Hartman outside of Target Center, the media entrance at U.S. Bank Stadium is named after him, the interview room at the Vikings practice facility is also named for him, and the University of Minnesota named the press box at TCF Bank Stadium after him as well.
One of the more interesting aspects of his professional career was that Hartman was largely responsible for getting the recently disbanded Detroit Gems basketball team relocated to Minneapolis where they became the Lakers. Hartman became the team's first GM and helped assemble a team that won five league championships in six seasons. Hartman was able to keep his reporting job at the time because, well, conflicts of interest were just a thing that happened back then.
One reason I was allowed to avoid a conflict of interest with the paper was the fact that at that time every member of our staff had an outside job as a PR man for either the wrestling promoters, boxing promoters, etcetera.
As you might imagine, the tributes for Hartman poured in after the news was announced.
For a full recollection of Hartman's life and career, read the Star Tribune article about him.
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